How best to be an audio evangelist?

marec

Member
2006-05-28 8:34 am
I built a pair of MJK's 2 driver OBs recently. They are so good i want to share them with everyone!

I was sat planning how to demonstrate them to an old friend of ours (who hasn't the slightest interest in HiFi), when
I was suddenly reminded of my father doing the same thing in the early 60's. He used (to no appreciable effect on his
neighbours and friends; other than alienation...) a recording of a steam train leaving a tunnel.

What's the current equivalent?

Mark
 
Invite them to bring a selection of their own favorite music, blockbusters included, and don't tell them what to expect. Indeed, this is the case where a completely impartial or "disinterested" listener can deliver the most interesting responses.

a good system should be able to do all the "talking"

of course, after the first couple of demo's, the word might get around
 
I had somebody come over and bring their own music one time. They were younger and liked the popular stuff my kids listen to on the radio. It sounded terrible, very poor compressed recordings. So we listened for a while and then I broke out my standard system show off disks of acoustic jazz and older rock recordings. The change in sound quality and performance was huge. The comment I got was that they now understood what I ment when asked at work what I had done last night, and I said I had listened to some music. They did not appreciate what that implied until that afternoon.
 
MJK said:
I had somebody come over and bring their own music one time. They were younger and liked the popular stuff my kids listen to on the radio. It sounded terrible, very poor compressed recordings. So we listened for a while and then I broke out my standard system show off disks of acoustic jazz and older rock recordings. The change in sound quality and performance was huge. The comment I got was that they now understood what I ment when asked at work what I had done last night, and I said I had listened to some music. They did not appreciate what that implied until that afternoon.


yeah, I guess it's too easy to assume that anyone interested in listening to a "decent" system has necessarily cultured the same refined taste as the owner

It took my now 24yr old son several years to understand what I was getting at about MP3s - in fact not until he spent a 6month trip in Asia, bopping around with a cheap acoustic guitar. Once he got intimate with the sound of a real instrument, it's become a lot easier to not have to explain how my own musical preferences have changed.
 

Nelson Pass

The one and only
Paid Member
2001-03-29 12:38 am
You want a vinyl copy of "Steam Locomotives under Thundering
Skies", apparently the first Mobile Fidelity release.

Used copies are generally in good shape - it doesn't get played
much - We used it every couple hours to clear the room at RMAF.
 

marec

Member
2006-05-28 8:34 am
I bought about 1000 Lps before the change came. Then I had a few years of working away from home. Anyway, as a result I have a relatively small number of cds and tend to listen a lot to the radio.

We have a "serious music" channel in the UK called Radio 3. There is a fabulous world music program at 2315 hrs called Late Junction. This introduces me to all sorts of sounds I've never heard before which I am sure are familiar to others here...

Currently I'm buying Tom Waits and Francois Tetaz.

Small jazz combos give tremendous imagery, but Arvo Part's beatitudes were wonderful last night with slightly larger forces

Mark
 
To name some 'young' stuff:

Well-produced electronic music from the analog age tends to "blossom" on good equipment, much to the surprise of regular listeners.

Italo-disco often works well. The Italians kept on making disco after it went out of vogue most other places, and really mastered synthesizer production. Giorgio Moroder often sounds beautiful, and if he can quite elegantly cross any generational gap you might have in your listening room.

It's a lot of fun listening to music that has been primarily produced for nightclub use, but has a hidden audiophile side. These men weren't kidding around in their studios. To resort to gobbledygook: there's lots of lovely air in the sound, and the synthetic, controlled microdynamics are a real pleasure.

Furthermore, I realized how Stereolab live up to their name when I heard their recordings on a good system.

@Nelson Pass: Great anecdote :)
 
Serious system test music

marec said:
We have a "serious music" channel in the UK called Radio 3. There is a fabulous world music program at 2315 hrs called Late Junction.
Mark

Late Junction is well past my bedtime, and doesn't sound good on the radio-alarm.

Did anyone listen to the Judith Weir concerts last weekend? Some of the sound was good and some mediocre (on DAB).

I know I bang on about it, but multi-part choral and Bach's T & F in D minor are good ways to test the system and annoy the neighbours.

Andy
 

OzMikeH

Member
2007-03-18 9:22 am
Back on topic... It doesnt matter what you play, as long as you play it repeatedly....

"Now that was a class T amp, the one you heard before that was a conventional solid state amp, by now the tube amp should be warm enough so we'll listen through that this time, if you listen very carefully to the last line of the second chorus you can hear her bump the mic stand.... the microdynamics are incredible, after that I'll show you how bad a bipolar electrolytic in a crossover can sound..... "

By which time the victim starts chatting about the wallpaper in the hallway in a desperate attempt to get away.


If you really want a particular song that's been a bit overdone:
Come away with me by Norah Jones, it stands out from the others because it's not a particularly good recording. (If they bring that cd over listen to Nightingale instead)
 
Ahh, Late Junction. I hope you all got involved in the campaign when R3 moved it to it's current late slot. I agree about the range of music but it doesn't sound as good over the internet the following day. One day I'll figure out how to get the video to record from my tuner.

Ref the music - I'd recommend something with a really good human voice and good stereo. I remember showing off my old Jordan system and a friend remarking in surprise that the singer was over near the far speaker, not the near one like he'd expected. I think he was hearing real stereo for the first time.
 
t-head said:
Evangelism is best accomplished by example rather than coersion...

let'em bring what they want...gotta sound better than their Bose...

t


the word itself "evangelis(t)/(ism)" can be emotionally charged for some

I fully understand the enthusiasm to share an audio revelation that makes the musical performance more tangible or even "spiritual" - in my own case, a currently controversial driver modification comes to mind.

I second what "t" said, and repeat my earlier post - it's best to let a listener (regardless of their audio legacy) make up their own mind by not telling them what to listen to or "for". After a playing a couple of their choices (you might be surprised yourself) feel free to dig out your "super demo playlist".

Serve some nice beverages & snacks, answer questions, but don't proselytize.
 
Have them show up with their own material. Stuff that they know well, as opposed to the latest CD they just picked up, but what the hell, let them bring as much as they want. Be prepared to dig in your own collection for similar music. Watch for cues that you are switching tracks too quickly, or lingering too long. Pay attention to their reactions to your music, be prepared for them not to be interested in your favorites, and adapt appropriately.

That's mostly what others have been saying. The part I want to add is that some people just don't care. If you're getting people in front of your stereo with the invitation "Hey, come listen to my stereo!" then they probably know what they're in for and are somewhat amenable (as opposed to ambushing random visitors, which I've never had much success with). But even so, there are a lot of people who are only interested in the status symbol of "how much bass?" or "how much volume?" or "how much chrome?" It doesn't occur to some people that they should stop making chit-chat when you press play. Not that these people are cretins, but not everyone cares about this particular hobby.

If you can reach these people great, but you might not see any reaction from a single listening session. I had a friend / room mate who listened to my stereo for years and never cared a whit for high fidelity. Later, he had his own place, got his own (trashy) stereo, and only after going back and forth between his own stereo and mine for a significant amount of time did he start to express that he wished for better sound at his house. Active hi-fi preaching until this time was met with vacant smiles.

So show off your setup, and if your guest isn't interested show off some music, and if he still isn't interested be prepared to talk about something else.

If you're looking for song reccomendations, there's a music area under "everything else" on this forum. Try this: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=62876

PS - congrats on the OB build! I look forward to finding a pair to audition tho I haven't the room for enormous baffles, myself.
 

marec

Member
2006-05-28 8:34 am
Re: Serious system test music

kristleifur said:
To name some 'young' stuff:

Giorgio Moroder often sounds beautiful, and if he can quite elegantly cross any generational gap you might have in your listening room.


I'd never heard of him but Donna Summer...). I downloaded a couple of tracks and when I make my 'demo' cd, they'll be on there!

Lowrider said:

The best is to play a DVD with a nice girl, they will love your hifi... ;)

!!!! Chance would be a verrrrry fine thing indeed!!!!


RAndyB said:


Late Junction is well past my bedtime, and doesn't sound good on the radio-alarm.

Did anyone listen to the Judith Weir concerts last weekend? Some of the sound was good and some mediocre (on DAB).

I know I bang on about it, but multi-part choral and Bach's T & F in D minor are good ways to test the system and annoy the neighbours.

Andy


OzMikeH said:
Back on topic... " the microdynamics are incredible, after that I'll show you how bad a bipolar electrolytic in a crossover can sound..... "
If you really want a particular song that's been a bit overdone:
Come away with me by Norah Jones, it stands out from the others because it's not a particularly good recording. (If they bring that cd over listen to Nightingale instead)

What are microdynamics please? Maybe I'm not ready for showing off yet...

Strange you should mention this. I'd never heard of her either up to last week. Come away with me arrived yesterday!

Colin said:

Ref the music - I'd recommend something with a really good human voice and good stereo. I remember showing off my old Jordan system and a friend remarking in surprise that the singer was over near the far speaker, not the near one like he'd expected. I think he was hearing real stereo for the first time.

Yes. It seems to me that the tracks that show off stereos are always like this (as long as the singer isn't demonstrating too much commitment! Maria Callas in full chat is as difficult for a stereo to do well as a brass band.) I guess it still shows that we (I) can't do dynamics properly yet.
chrisb said:



the word itself "evangelis(t)/(ism)" can be emotionally charged for some

I fully understand the enthusiasm to share an audio revelation that makes the musical performance more tangible or even "spiritual" - in my own case, a currently controversial driver modification comes to mind.

I second what "t" said, and repeat my earlier post - it's best to let a listener (regardless of their audio legacy) make up their own mind by not telling them what to listen to or "for". After a playing a couple of their choices (you might be surprised yourself) feel free to dig out your "super demo playlist".

Serve some nice beverages & snacks, answer questions, but don't proselytize.

I remember squirming when my parents did all those sixties things with slide shows of holiday snaps and (even worse) home movies. Showing off the stereo was just the event I quoted to start the thread!
I will try not to repeat all their mistakes! The beer is a must of course, if only to keep people in the house.


AdamThorne said:


If you're looking for song reccomendations, there's a music area under "everything else" on this forum. Try this: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=62876

PS - congrats on the OB build! I look forward to finding a pair to audition tho I haven't the room for enormous baffles, myself.

When one starts a thread, one has to say: "Honest Gov, I've searched". This reply shows me up for a liar. Thanks for the link, that's great!

Part of the joy of MJK's latest is that the baffle is a tiny 38" * 20", and the cost of the components is relatively small (the capacitors were a shock!) Go for it, although I can't say for how they handle microdynamics...


**************************************************
Thanks for all the help everyone and I will try not to overdo things!

Mark
 
Next week I am having a Birthday Speaker Bash. I have invited all sorts of folks over to listen to my system and celebrate my birthday. I have 4 builds for them to listen to: FE166ES-R factory recommended BLH with T90A supertweeter and DIY sub, FX200 MLTL with FT17H tweeter, small FE167 MLTL and finally a Half Chang using the FE207 with FT17H tweeter. When I made the invitation I told them exactly what they were in for and told them I would not be offended if they weren’t interested and didn't want to come. I also told them I would play portions of their favorite CD if brought one along.

So far I have about 20-30 folks are coming over to hang out, listen to music, eat and drink. I am not expecting to convert anyone but I am expecting to have a good time.

I will report back on how it goes. It will be interesting.